Evanston Chess Club was delighted to sponsor two teams at the US Amateur Team-North in Northbrook on February 17-19. The USAT is a set of four very popular USCF national team events held around the country on President's Day weekend. It's a chance for chess players to take their game on the road as a team. Sure, you can go to a regular tournament with a friend, but it's more fun to have three others facing the opposition with you, who want you to succeed, and who want to succeed on your behalf. Near the end of a long round (g/90, increment 30) when the room has cleared out, it's a good thing to have teammates who stick around when their own games are done because they want to see the outcome of yours.

Team captain Jon Burgess put it best in an email to his teammates before the event: "All of you have your own goals for this weekend. It may be to win all your games, it may be to score 1/5, but that one win is against a strong player and means the world to you. It may be you're playing just to have fun. Whatever the goal you seek, I wish you all well with it and I will be there to support you in trying to achieve your goal."

Evanston's teams were made up of a diverse group. Our team rating range was 890 to 2187. Team age range was eighth grade to some unspecified point north of retirement. In spite of the "amateur" label, these events tend to bring out strong players--in a field of 171 there were 48 players rated 2000 or higher--so both teams had their work cut out for them.

The Evanston Chess Express was led by NM Jon Burgess, and included Bill Brock, Isaac Braswell, Kent Cen and alternate Frank Lasch. After a forfeit win in the first round on Friday, the Express went on to win three out of the next four rounds. They finished tied for second place with three other 4.0 teams. Jon went 4.5/5.0 and was tied for second place on board one. Isaac had four points, and tied for second place on board three. Kent tied for third place on Board 4, also with four points. Bill won all three of the games he played and was tied for fourth place on Board 2.

Jeff Brunelle was captain of The Evanston Chess All Stops, which included Jiri Kabelac, Nathan Holzmueller, Tae "Ted" Moon and alternate Jim Marchert. Their team won two of five rounds, and Ted was high scorer for the team with 3 wins.

The club would like to thank Bill Brock for helping sponsor the teams, and Captains Jon Burgess and Jeff Brunelle for their team leadership and encouragement, and all the team members for devoting this holiday weekend to chess.

Click here for detailed results.

by Maret

Evanston Chess All Stops: Jiri Kabelac, Jeff Brunelle, Ted Moon and Jim Marchert

The All Stops: Jim Marchert, Ted Moon, Nathan Holzmueller and Jiri Kabelac

Isaac Braswell and Bill Brock

The Express: Frank Lasch, Kent Cen, Isaac Braswell, Jon Burgess

Frank Lasch, Kent Cen, Isaac Braswell